Technology: The CrashPlan Backup Service Entered The Stopped State

I recently had a problem with the CrashPlan backup service. If you are not familiar with CrashPlan, it’s an online backup service like Mozy and Carbonite. Read CrashPlan and Why The Cloud Makes Sense to learn more about the service.

"I'm trying to back it up, but I can't find reverse."

The problem I encountered is the CrashPlan Windows service keeps stopping and restarting. This has been going on for weeks now. I reinstalled CrashPlan multiple times. I even reinstalled to a different path (on the same computer) to see if that would make a difference. It didn’t. So last night I decided to build a new Windows XP virtual machine dedicated to CrashPlan. I should note that I backup network drives, which is why I’m able to build a dedicated CrashPlan server. Normally CrashPlan runs on the same computer where your data exists. After building the dedicated CrashPlan virtual machine everything seemed fine at first but after a few hours, guess what? Yup, another crash. At least CrashPlan was living up to one half of its name.

After hours of troubleshooting I finally stumbled onto a fix and I thought I would share it since it wasn’t easy to find. Turns out the CrashPlan service is limited to 512MB of memory. It won’t use more than that even if it needs it and the computer has it. When it hits the limit it crashes. Luckily there is an easy fix which I’ve outlined below.

Are you seeing the below message in the System Event Viewer repeatedly?

Event Type: Information
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 7036
Date: 6/12/2012
Time: 4:18:59 PM
User: N/A
Computer: CRASHPLAN
Description:
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state”

If you are seeing the above message and/or the CrashPlan program and System Tray icon are disappearing in the middle of a backup then follow the steps below to increase the amount of memory that the CrashPlan service is allowed to use.

1. Stop the CrashPlan service. On most Windows computers this is in the Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services
2. Open Windows Explorer and browse to C:\Program Files\CrashPlan and double-click the CrashPlanService.ini file
3. Look for the following setting: Xmx512M
4. Change Xmx512M to Xmx1024M (This will increase the amount of memory that CrashPlan can use from 512MB to 1024MB. Make sure your computer has enough memory before you make this change.)
5. Save the file
6. Start the CrashPlan service
7. If you still have the problem change the setting to a higher value. You should be able to increase it to 2048 on 32-bit systems although it might be possible to go higher, especially on 64-bit systems.

For comparison sake, I’m backing up 2.7TB of data to CrashPlan. I think this memory problem is likely due to the amount of data being backed up. If you are backing up even more data you might need to give the CrashPlan service even more memory.

It’s unfortunate that CrashPlan hard codes a limit of 512MB by default. I know the average CrashPlan user is probably not backing up multiple terabytes of data but they should have planned for this problem. Again, only living up to one half of their name.

dks

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Technology

#backup#crash#CrashPlan#memory#RAM#service#Windows

  • Steve

    Good to know.  I’m running CrashPlan Pro on a server at work and backing up 275k files (241GB), so I was wondering if there’s some point at which it gets to be too much for it.   Unfortunately, I’m unable to access network shares with the Pro version.  For some reason only the version licensed for personal use allows access to network shares (duh!)!  So I’m jealous of your ability to set up a dedicated machine for it. 😉

    • I wonder if it’s total size of number of files (or both) that puts it over the memory limit.

      Wow, that doesn’t sound very “Pro” to me. Pro is supposed to be for business. How could they think you wouldn’t need to backup network drives?

      • Mike Berggren

        Good question. I’m inclined to suspect that it’s the quantity. My wife uses crashplan to backup her photos and she has tens of thousands of files; each 10-20 MB each. The memory seems to increment just during scans.

        • I think you are right, quantity of files is probably what most increases memory usage.

    • This is what their FAQ says…


      Do you support backing up network drives?
      Yes, on Mac, Linux or Solaris.Due to security constraints within the Windows operating systems, CrashPlan PRO does not support backing up mapped or network drives on Windows.–Uh, no. Due to the programming of CrashPlan PRO network drives are not supported. There are plenty of backup solutions that can backup network drives.

      • Steve

        Yeah, it’s obviously not a limitation of Windows, since the non-Pro version can do it.  It’s almost like they want you to use the “personal” license for business use, since businesses are more likely to have network shares…

        • Although even the consumer version of CrashPlan doesn’t officially support it, but at least they provide directions on how to do it on their website.

  • Pieter Viljoen

    Having the same problem for past week, restart every 15s.
    Backing up about 2.7TB.Upped memory to 2GB, running solid for several hours.

  • jack

    This fixed my problem too! Thanks!

  • Eric

    Problem fixed. Many thanks!

  • Bill

    Thanks much for the help. My Windows 7 x64 box was doing exactly what yours was doing–now my max RAM setting is now increased and I’m stable again. The tipping point for me was ~850GB of backup. At ~815GB, I was stable and fine at the default setting. At ~896GB, it restarted every 15sec, until applying your workaround. I appreciate you sharing your solution!

  • Anonymous

    For Linux the path is /usr/local/crashplan/bin/run.conf for the configuration file defining the memory variables.

    Just in case others came here trying to find this information.

  • Tim

    Your fix worked perfectly. Thank you very much!!

  • Mike Berggren

    Thank you very much. That’s exactly what I needed to know.

  • Stefan Ytterström

    Thanks for the tip. This was the issue that was killing my backups. Worked like a charm when I increased the memory setting. /Stefan

  • Henrik

    Excellent information, I was experiencing a similar problem which I couldn’t find any information about on the Crashplan FAQ. Increasing the memory limit solved this issue for me (and also convinced me to get some more RAM).

    Thank you very much!

  • Thanks very much! My crashplan had apparently stopped working a while back, and I didn’t realize it. When I checked online or in my mobile app, files that I thought had been backed up ages ago, seemed to be missing. Heck, this morning I even got my weekly crashplan status email telling me that everything was working great and that 99.99% of my files had been backedup. When I started trying to find out what was going on, the crashplan tray kept crashing, but the service was running the entire time (using about half a gig of ram and 55% CPU). The support page was completely useless.

    This page was the first search result that wasn’t run by code42, and it actually solved my problem! Thanks!

  • Daniel Christinat

    Just applied the fix and hope it will help do have a stable Crashplan-UI again (for some time),
    While waiting for my old Vista laptop used as central Crashplan-station finish the reboot, I use the time time to tell, how much I am disappointed by Code42 “support” (the official pages don’t state one word about his problem!, even for paying customers) – and I am also surprised they wrote Crashplan in Java, a programming language famous for it’s very bad memory management and garbage collection.

    That’s why they restart the service every 15 mins. … because “stop and restart” includes the (otherwise missing) cleanup of ressources like memory. What an extremely poor and deplorable workaround.

    After knowing the programming was done in Java I’m not surprised expieriencing such bad situations of sudden death of Crashplan. The instability and lack of performance was also the reason why I left Wuala … Will have have a close look at Crashplan in the future.

    PS. Finally the reboot completed and I restarted Crashplan UI. Works flawless again (Thanks), no crashes (for the moment) … but the memory consumption of Crashplan is insane: CrashplanTray and CrashplanDesktop are neglectable, but CrashplanService is at about 800MB of physical memory and over 1GB of pagefile memory (on a machine with 2GB main memory).

    • Great news! And I agree. I loath Java. Although to be fair, data deduplication does require a decent amount of RAM (depending on how much data you have) to cache the hashes so it doesn’t have to do a full scan over and over to find the changes.